There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to start your UTV in the cold and getting less than a sputter. If this happens to you, we’ve got 6 tips to help you get your machine back up and running.
Let’s start with the basics.
Check the battery. Are the wires secured to the battery terminals? Is there corrosion? If you have any doubt, go ahead and clean the terminals and tighten the battery connections. Still not working? Then you’ll need to test the battery to see if it’s charged. If it’s dead, jump or trickle-charge it. Turn the key over one more time to see if it will start.
If you still can’t get the machine to start, it’s time to check the fuel. First things first—does it have gas? Boy, that would be funny, huh? If you’re sure there’s fuel in the tank, check the fuel for an off smell, dark or off-color fuel, and water (there’s lots of testing kits available to help you check). Any of these could be a sign of bad fuel. You should also check your machine’s manual to make sure you’ve been using the right fuel in the first place.
Still no luck? Go ahead and check for codes. These codes can be a big clue as to why your machine won’t start. You’ve probably found your culprit if you get a code related to the TMAP sensor, temperature sensor, or ECU.
If none of these fixes work, your UTV’s cold start issue might need deeper testing.
Your spark plugs could be the culprit. Spark plugs ignite the fuel, so if one or more of them isn’t working, your UTV may not start and may run rough if it does start. Check for corrosion on the ends and replace any that seem worn out.
Another important thing to check is fuel pressure. To be extremely basic, fuel pressure issues can indicate issues with your fuel pump. You can check your machine’s manual for exact fuel pressure specs, but you can bet you’ll have trouble starting if your UTV is not getting good fuel pressure.
You’ll also want to check overall engine compression. Basically, engine compression is the pressure the engine makes in the pistons. If engine compression is out of whack, the machine will be hard to start whether it’s cold or not. Again, refer to your UTV’s manual for specifics on fuel compression.
If you’ve done the 6 steps we outlined to get your UTV to start in the cold, don’t be afraid to take your rig to a dealer for deeper troubleshooting. Check your warranty, too—your visit might be free.
Don’t forget about regular maintenance too. Keeping your fluids fresh and all your parts greased will help you whenever you have to troubleshoot a problem like this. Check out our simplified Can-Am and Polaris maintenance schedules for tips to keep your rig rolling all year round.